The family of Ishrat Jahan, a teenager from Mumbra (a satellite township on the outskirts of Mumbai) who was killed in a fake encounter in Gujarat in June 2004, has been left disappointed by the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday. Only former and serving Intelligence Bureau officers and not politicians were charged, they said.
“How can CBI say that such killings don’t have the sanction of politicians? We feel there is enough evidence to show the involvement of the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah,” Ms. Mushraat, Ishrat’s sister told The Hindu.
“Are they assuming that the police officers hatched the conspiracy all by themselves?” asked Shamim Kauser, Ishrat’s mother.
Ishrat and three others were killed on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad by a police team that claimed that it was tipped off by the IB that the four were terrorists planning to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
In its first charge sheet filed last July, the CBI had accused seven policemen of murdering the four “in cold blood” and of planting an AK-56 assault rifle at the scene.
While the agency concluded that the 2004 encounter was fake and that it was a case of extra-judicial execution, they have not explicitly mentioned whether she was a terrorist or not. This has disappointed the family. “We are relieved they have declared the encounter to be fake but we are disappointed that they have not said that she was not a terrorist. We are confident that she was not a terrorist,” Ms. Musharaat said.
“My daughter was a simple, intelligent girl who was working as a saleswoman to support her family. She was not a terrorist as claimed by the Gujarat government and their policemen,” Mrs. Kauser added.
But when asked about if they were aware of Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai's relationship with Ishrat, one of the four who was killed in the fake encounter along with Ishrat, the family said their equation was limited to work.
“My father was a builder and Mr. Javed used to work as a technician but he soon left the job. That time we had no relationship with him. Later when he started a firm, my sister applied for a job. Initially she was not even aware that the firm was owned by Javed. There was very limited interaction and nothing as such that was projected by the media,” Ms. Musharaat added.